Call him the Digital Candidate or a Social Candidate: President Barack Obama is active on almost all social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more recently Tumblr.
The President is asking supporters to use Facebook to declare "I'm In!" for his re-election campaign and is personally tweeting to blast out messages to his nearly 9 million followers.
The Obama campaign declines to say how many of its supporters have clicked the "I'm In!" button, but Facebook brings Obama's campaign to millions of news feeds, allowing supporters to share content, plan events and recruit friends in ways that email couldn't in 2008.
If Obama broke new ground in 2008 using email, text messages and the Web to reach voters, Obama ‘s 2012 campaign aims to take the Web campaign to the next level – harnessing the expansive roles that the Internet and social media are playing in voters' lives.
Emails to supporters seek small-dollar donations in exchange for campaign coffee mugs or a chance to win dinner with the president. The campaign's website helps supporters find local events, plan meetings and raise money.
The new campaign logo featured on the items includes the celebrated image of a rising sun used in 2008, but this time nestled in the "0" of 2012.
Twitter, meanwhile, was still in its infancy when Obama first ran for president and played little role in that campaign. This time, Obama has signaled the value of his (at)barackobama handle, telling supporters he'll regularly send personal tweets signed "-BO."
By its nature, Twitter allows the campaign to monitor public opinion on a minute-by-minute basis, respond to critics and shape the news.
Obama also released a two-minute YouTube video telling viewers, “It begins with us.”The Video does not feature the candidate himself speaking but a diverse range of supporters explaining why he should be given another four years in the White House in the November 2012 elections.
Obama’s betting big on Social Media support
Obama relied heavily on the web during his 2008 presidential campaign for organizing, fundraising and communicating and his recent reelection campaign with a social media barrage launch made it clear he plans on doing so again, building a grassroots campaign online.
In his message to supporters, Obama said "the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you -- with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends.
"We'll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year's fight," Obama added.
According to a recent national poll of America’s 18 to 29 year olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), a majority of Millennials (55%) approve of the job performance of President Barack Obama, a rise of six percentage points from IOP polling conducted last October.
The Obama campaign can however take a different approach to social media by treating it as a gateway to open a two-way dialogue, not a vehicle for pushing out traditional campaign talking points. “Social media has gone from a publishing platform to a really interactive space,” said Andrew Foxwell, manager of marketing and new media at iConstituent.